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What Type of Dog is Scooby-Doo?

Scooby-Doo is a well-known fictional character of the animated television series for children called Scooby-Doo, Where Are You. While Scooby is one of the most endearing and funniest dog cartoon characters, many people don’t know what breed of dog was used to create this goofy character.

So, what type of dog is Scooby-Doo? Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane. Scooby-Doo has a stocky torso, tall body, and long skinny legs like a purebred great Dana. However, Iwao Takamoto, the character’s creator, explained that he drew Scooby to be the opposite of the purebred male Great Dane dog. He gave Scooby a humpback and bowed legs. 

Though Scooby isn’t as elegant or courageous as a purebred Great Dane, he shares some characteristics with this breed. Keep reading to learn how Scooby-Doo’s appearance and temperament compare to that of a pedigree, Great Dane. 

Who is Scooby-Doo?

Scooby-Doo is a fictitious cartoon character created by Hana-Barbera, an American animation company. In the series Scooby, the male Great Dane is a pet dog of the amateur detective, Shaggy Rogers. 

Shaggy and Scooby-Doo share many personality traits. Scooby’s character exhibits a mix of human and canine behaviors throughout the series. He is regarded by his friends as an equal.

Scooby-Doo History & Origin

The original Scooby-Doo series was created by writers Ken Spears and Joe Ruby in 1969. Initially, the dog who later became Scooby was a sidekick character. 

The original Scooby was a bong-playing dog named “Too Much” whose breed varied from a sheepdog to a Great Dane. 

The production designer, Iwao Takamoto, took notes from a Hana-Barbera colleague who was also a Great Dane breeder to create the Scooby-Doo character. Although the breeder described a prize-winning, purebred Great Dane, Takamoto drew Scooby as the opposite of that.

When choosing the personality for their canine character, Spears and Ruby pulled inspiration from the characters played by Bob Hope in his horror comedies. So, it was decided that Scooby would be a cowardly dog who expresses random acts of bravery when his friends are in trouble. 

After the success of the original series, many reboots and spin-offs have kept the cartoon and Scooby’s character alive and popular. 

What Type of Dog Is Scooby-Doo?

Scooby-Doo Breed

Given his appearance, Scooby-Do can’t be anything but a Great Dane. Like Great Danes, Scooby is a tall and slender dog with a long, burly torso and skinny legs. 

However, while purebred Great Danes are balanced and elegant, Scooby-Doo doesn’t look very noble. 

Iwao Takamoto explained that Scooby’s rough features were no mistake. “I decided to go the opposite (way) and gave him a humpback, bowed legs, small chin, and such. Even his color is wrong,” said Takamoto. 

Comparing Scooby-Doo to Great Dane

It’s clear by now that Great Danes and Scooby-Doo share some similarities. However, Scooby isn’t a mirror image of a purebred Great Dane. 

Scooby’s creator Iwao Takamote was convinced that the show would be more popular if Scooby’s was large and awkward. But are Great Danes clumsy in real life? 

Let’s see how Scooby-Doo compares to a real Great Dane and what traits this fictional character shares with the Great Dane dog breed.

Physical Characteristics

Nicknamed the “Apollo of Dogs,” Great Danes embody power, grace, and balance. Their impressive size, well-muscled bodies, and easy stride reflect a born nobleman. These majestic dogs aren’t clumsy at all.

On the other hand, Scooby-Doo is best described as a distorted Great Dane with a noticeably less elegant body than purebred dogs of this breed.

Purebred Great Danes come in several recognized colors: black, fawn, merle, mantle, blue, brindle, and harlequin. The official breed standard doesn’t say anything about brown coat color or black spots on the back.

Scooby-Doo is atypically brown from head to toe and has black patches on his back. He also doesn’t have a melanistic face mask, typically seen in Great Danes.

Emotional Characteristics

A Great Dane must be courageous, spirited, and never timid. These dogs should never appear weak or fearful. Besides being friendly and dependable pets, Great Danes are also excellent guard dogs that will protect your home and property.

Scooby-Doo is easily frightened and generally hides from danger in wicker baskets despite his size. Cowardice is a common trait exhibited by Scooby, but this isn’t a common Great Dane trait.

Problem Solving Skills

Great Danes have excellent problem-solving skills. These giant dogs can easily distinguish a friend from an intruder. 

When it comes to problem-solving skills, Scooby-Doo is more like Great Danes than you might think. Scooby becomes an exceptional escape artist when he needs to run from ghosts and other monsters. This requires fast thinking and good coordination.  

Scooby-Doo Fun Facts

Check out some fun and exciting facts about the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You cartoon you might not know about.

  • In the cartoon, Scooby Doo’s original name was Too Much
  • Scooby-Doo, Shaggy Rogers, Fred Jones, Vilma Dinkley, and Daphne Blake have faced more than 390 criminals so far
  • Scooby-Doo and Shaggy Rogers are the only two characters that appear in every show
  • Scooby’s nephew Scrappy-Doo first appeared in 1983
  • Scooby-Doo has two identical siblings – Skippy-Doo and Dooby-Doo
  • Scooby speaks in broken English, usually putting the letter “R” in front of words and noises he makes. This speech disorder is called rhotacism


Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane. Purebred Great Danes are courageous, dependable, and noble-looking dogs, but Scooby is the opposite. 

Iwao Takamoto created Scooby’s character with a sloping chin, brown coat, long tail, hunchback, and bow legs. These traits are entirely opposite to those of an award-winning purebred Great Dane. 

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